Calling on Seventh Street

The factors that determine when to call on seventh street are very similar to the factors you considered at sixth street.  Many times, you’ll have a hand such as trips or a straight – it isn’t bad, but neither is it stellar.  You don’t want to foold such a hand, since odds are it very well might win you the pot.  At the same time, reaching for chips to bet makes you anxious, because you worry that you just might be betting into a bigger hand than what you hold.

Don’t Hesitate to Stick Around

Once you’ve played your hand this far, if you hold a good Poker Two Pair and there is no higher pair or better on the board, stay in for at least one bet.  In this situation, you must look for a reason that tells you to fold.  If you can’t find one, stick around.  On the showdown, a player might turn over a streight or trips and beat you, but it was worth it to see that hand, since you held a good hand as well.  There are some situations when you should lay down this hand, but when you have a good hand, calling at least one bet is the best move.  Many times a big Poker Two Pair will win you the pot, so stay in unless warning signs present themselves.

Calling on seventh street can be summed up with five words: go with your gut feeling.  When you like but don’t love your hand, call if it looks like there could be threatening hands yet to act, or if you know your opponent to bluff rarely and play only the solid hands.  On the showdowm, you may find that your hand was the best one and breathe a big sigh of relief.  Don’t feel bad about having called, not raised – you made the right decision, since you did not feel too confident about your hand.  While you should’t turn into a calling station on the rivere, calling is always the best move when you feel uncertain about the strength of your hand.

Don’t be the Table Sheriff

Before we move on, one more piece of advice: don’t tuern into the poker sheriff.  Identifying a player who wants to be one is easy – he will use the phrase, “Well, I’ll call to keep you honest.”  You shouldn’t be calling unless you have a decent hand.  Your job is to win the pot, not to be the sheriff of the table.  Remember, you don’t encounter much bluffing at the low lmits.  The only time that you can call a player who has bet when you think you’re beat is if you know him very, very well  - so when you feel you are beat, fold the hand and don’t throw money away.

Folding on Seventh Street

Nobody likes to fold, and once you’ve invested this much into a hand, folding is especially undesirable.  Most of the time, when you have a hand of some sort, you will be staying in.  Still, there are those dreaded times when you do have to fold your hand.

First and most obvious is when you do not make your hand.  You had a flush draw with lots of live cards in your suit, and that last diamond didn’t fall.  Here, you obviously want to fold the hand.  The only possibly time when you could play a busted flush or straight is when you have four to the fulsh or straight on the board.  Still, playing that hand is not really a good idea.  At the low limits, even with something as scary as a four-flush on the board, it’s rare that all poker pelyers left in the pot will be spooked by a possible flush or straight and fold.  The vast majority of the time, at least someone will stay in the pot to “keep you honest,” and you’ll have been throwing money away.

Be Wary of Raising Wars

Folding is also the right course of action when you have that good but not great hand and are up against a raising war.  These are the low limits, not $ 30/60 stud, but raising wars still do break out, and when they do, they are most likely to be on seventh street.  If you are in one, and you feel confident about your hand, bang away.  But when one breaks out and you are not sure about the strength of your hand, don’t feel bad about folding.

Whenever a raising war breaks out, it means two players have made very good hands and they feel confident enough to invest a lot of money.  Your trips or small straight simply isn’t going to hold up – so just muck the hand.  And, yes, that does include when you’ve already put money into the pot.  Let’s look at an example.

Say you hold trip jacks and are first to act.  Believing you have the best hand, you bet.  Another player raises your bet –he has a pair of queens on the board – and a four – flush promptly re-raises him.  Some players can’t resist calling two additional big bets because they have already put some of their money in the pot – Poker Player who does that must not be you.

Even with money in the pot on this round, when a raising war breaks out or when you face two big bets, the best move is to fold any hand that’s less than a flush.  It’s not likely to hold up, because a raise here indicates strength.  When you have a strong straight, it’s okay to call two bets only if it looks like the bettor and raiser don’t have a flush or better.  If they do, just fold.  Also fold your flush when faced with two big bets if you feel you are going up against a full house or bigger flush.  After all, the second best hand in poker wins you nothing.

In conclusion, you will be calling or raising much more often than you will be folding on seventh street.  Even so, you will have to fold from time to time on the river – especially when you don’t make your hand.  Don’t try to be the poker police and think you’ll call someone’s bluff – remember, bluffing is a rarity at the low limits.

Also, don’t go against your instincts when you are telling you your hand won’t hold up.  Calling one bet with a straight or flush is fine – with two bets to you or when in the midst of a raising war, unless you have a good quality flush, don’t feel bad about folding the hand.  One of Poker players will have what he is representing – a hand that’s bigger than yours